I Got 3 Words For You: Queer-Friendly Auto Repair
A crew of intersectional feminists would like to fix your car & more stories of capitalism with a conscience
This LGBTQ and class-conscious garage in Seattle, WA, profiled in Broadly, needs to franchise and go national, pronto.
After all, why should bringing your car in to be serviced be such a gross and expensive experience for so many drivers who are not macho straight white dudes or into traditional macho straight white dude culture? The entrepreneurs behind Repair Revolution unite practicality and heart like the second coming of Captain Planet.
“I was working in social work for a really long time, primarily with homeless women and low-income families,” says Allison. “I would watch them have a car breakdown and it’d be something really simple and easy to fix and they’d miss work that day and not get their kids to childcare and lose their job — it was just a downward spiral. I did a lot of helping my clients in the parking lot.” Fino-Fugate’s experience working with refugee families in Dallas and Austin was distressingly similar. The only jobs they could find for recent immigrants, they say, were often in warehouses far outside the city, where public transportation wasn’t available.
“They would need to buy a super cheap car,” Fino-Fugate says. “Normally this car would last about a month or two and break down and they wouldn’t have a way to get to work and they’d get fired. I saw that as a huge barrier to getting them employment.” Their desire to help underserved populations — combined with massive burnout from 60-family caseloads and a deep enjoyment of the literal nuts and bolts of the work — drove both Allison and Fino-Fugate to the auto repair industry.
In other small business news, Ivanka Trump made a purchase from the Brooklyn-based indie store Lady Grey Jewelry and received, in addition to her ear cuff, a personalized note from the owner-designers.
“Dear Ivanka, Thank you so much for your web order! We’re happy to let you know that the proceeds of your sale have been generously donated to the American Immigration Council, the Everytown for Gun Safety organization, and the Hillary Clinton campaign. We hope you enjoy your new Lady Grey #helixearcuff. Best, Jill + Sabine.”
That kind of move takes serious guts, even if Jill + Sabine do have celebs like Beyonce and Rihanna on their side. At a guess, I would rank Ivanka’s power at a notch below Maleficent’s. You piss her off at your peril.
Still: commerce with a conscience! They weren’t refusing to serve her because they disagreed with her lifestyle choices; they didn’t, say, turn her down when she asked them to bake her a wedding cake. But, in a cheerful, upbeat way, they made their own priorities clear and refused to profit from hers. If we have to have capitalism, this is one way to go.
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